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Union County, North Carolina

Union County Parks and Recreation Earns National Accreditation in Parks and Recreation

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Union County Parks and Recreation Earns National Accreditation in Parks and Recreation

Posted on 09/17/15

Mark of distinction recognizes commitment to highest level of service to the community

September 17, 2015, Monroe, NC – Union County Parks and Recreation today joins the ranks of elite parks and recreation agencies and departments across the country by earning accreditation through the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). This distinguished accomplishment was awarded during the 2015 NRPA Annual Conference in Las Vegas, NV.

CAPRA accreditation is the only national accreditation for parks and recreation agencies, and is a measure of an agency's overall quality of operation, management and service to the community. This mark of distinction indicates that an agency has met rigorous standards related to the management and administration of lands, facilities, resources, programs, safety and services.

As part of the accreditation process, Union County Parks and Recreation demonstrated compliance with 151 recognized standards and documented all policies and procedures. Often the process helps identify efficiencies and heighten areas of accountability, all of which translate into higher quality service and operation to benefit the community.

“The accreditation process has served as the scorecard by which we have graded ourselves on how we serve the residents of Union County with quality recreational services and parks,” said Bill Whitley, division director for Union County Parks and Recreation. “We are honored to have received the accreditation but this is just the end of the beginning as we continue to track how we strive to improve as an agency over the years to come against these same national standards. I would like to personally thank the local municipalities that have been vital in creating a closer total team effort in providing our residents with improved recreational needs during the past two years.”

The process for accreditation involves a formal application, self-assessments, a site visit by a team of trained visitors that results in a written report, and a hearing with the commission to grant accreditation. Once accredited, the agency must uphold the standards by submitting an annual report and is reviewed again in five years.

The Commission is comprised of representatives from NRPA, the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration, the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials, the International City/County Management Association, the Academy for Leisure Sciences, the Armed Forces Recreation Network and the Council of State Executive Directors.

For more information about CAPRA accreditation, visit

For more information on Union County Parks and Recreation, visit UnionCountyNC.Gov or call 704-843-3919.

The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of 50,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit For digital access to NRPA's flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit